Hinton highlights nation’s debt to veterans in event speech

Published 1:19 pm Monday, November 14, 2022

By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Disabled American Veterans Chapter 33 honored local veterans during a ceremony at Senior Connection on Nov. 11.

Retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Terry Hinton Sr. was the guest speaker for the event. He served from 1991 to 2011 and received many commendations, awards and medals.

“While on active duty, retired U.S. Navy Master Chief Hinton played a vital role in the Persian Gulf War, Operation Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Desert Sabre, War in Afghanistan, War in Iraq and closing of Operation New Dawn,” Stanley Varner said, introducing Hinton.

Hinton acknowledged there were several heroes in the audience of the event.

“On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, … World War I ended in 1918. Due to the conclusion of the war that they called the war to end all wars, Nov. 11 became a universally recognized day of celebration,” Hinton said. “The day was originally declared Armistice Day, eight years after the close of World War I and honored all veterans of that war, then in 1954 after World War II and the Korean War, it was renamed what we call it today Veterans Day to honor all veterans who defend America.”

Hinton said Americans owe a great debt to those who have served and honoring them on Veterans Day is one way to repay that debt.

“Our debt to these heroes can never been repaid, but our gratitude and respect will last forever,” Hinton said. “For many veterans, our nation was important enough to endure long separation from their families, miss births of their children, freeze in subzero temperatures, bake in wild jungles, lose limbs and far too often, loss of their life, so today we honor all of our veterans who exceptionally placed their lives on the line for our freedom.”

Each of the veterans present were recognized as they stood to applause of those in attendance. Spouses and family members were also recognized.

“Military spouses have had to endure career interruptions, frequent changes of address and a disproportionate share of parental responsibility,” Hinton said. “Children often had to deal with changes at school, separation with friends and hardest of all the uncertainty of whether mom or dad will live through their next combat tour. Thank you for your service as well.”

Hinton said those who are currently serving deserve thanks for preserving the American way of life.

“The freedom we enjoy is extremely special and that is why we must defend it,” Hinton said.

He encouraged each of those present, whether in the military or not, to play a part in preserving these freedoms.

“We can protect our freedom simply by maintaining it here in America,” Hinton said. “If we want to preserve our freedoms, we must put them into action, for example, voting in elections or speaking out against injustice. We must also insure that everyone feels the benefits of freedom, and we can do that by volunteering in our communities or teaching our children what it really means to be an American.”

The oldest veteran honored at the event was Lellwyn Lackey, who served in the Navy in World War II.